Cruise Ships to be scrapped because of 2010 SOLAS Regulations


Grant Carman

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Although we have talked about this on various threads, I thought I'd start one dedicated to this.

Because of the new SOLAS regulations that take effect in 2010, a lot of the older cruise ships will be "retired", probably to a beach in Alang or Bangladesh. It would be interesting to get other people opinions, especially those who are more familiar with the regs (Michael, that means you for one).

Here's ones that I think will be retired. Let me know what you all think.

Peaceboat (Topaz, ex CP Empress of Britain)
Mona Lisa
Saga Ruby
Saga Fiord
Boadiccia (sp?)
Black Watch
Queen Elizabeth 2

Al are from the 1970's
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Grant Carman

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Michael

At a quick glance, the biggest thing to effect the older cruise ships is not the sprinkler systems, but the rule that as of 2010, 85% of materials used must be non flammable (to a point).
If that's the case, as someone said on another message board, it would mean stripping a lot of the older ships to the bare steel and starting over.

That could doom a lot more ships than I thought initially.

This could include a lot of the 1970's built ships.
 

Morten Jensen

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Mar 4, 2006
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But would this be possible on the QE2 if she is in the danger zone? Just thinking of retiring her makes me feel ill... Is she a ship that would still make profit, or is the days gone?

Morten
 
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>>Is she a ship that would still make profit, or is the days gone?<<

I would submit that if the QE2 wasn't making a profit, she would already be gone. As it stands, Cunard has gone to a lot of trouble over the years to keep her viable, even to the point of replacing the entire steam propulsion plant with diesels.

>>That could doom a lot more ships than I thought initially.<<

You may be on to something. Fire at sea is any sailor's worst nightmare. I've been down that road and I don't care to repeat the experience. Even so-called fire proof ships have proven to anything but fireproof. Witness what happened on the Carnival Ecstasy as an example. Not suprisingly, regulatory bodies want to minimize the risk as far as possible.
 

Grant Carman

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Michael

I agree with you 100%. I should have used the term non-combustable to non flammable. To most people there's no difference, but to me, a big one. Non combustable is even stricter.
What I don't understand is the use of so many different types of plastics on the newer ships. They are not only flammable, but produce deadly toxic smoke.

Off the top of my head, if they wanted to reproduce something from the golden age, and meet SOLAS standards, they could recreate the First Class dining rooms from the Lusitania, or one of the German ships that I can't remember off the top of my head (must be having a brain fart). Both were 3 stories high, and done in plaster, including the domes.

Getting back on topic, the combustable rule will doom a lot of ships. Even the QE2. And from what I've read in the reviews on cruise critic, she still has a lot of holdovers from her 2 class days. Rooms are tiny and dark by modern standards. Better to retire her and make her a floating museum in Southampton, and have a QE3 that really blows everyones socks off.

But the rules could be disasterous for the lines that specialize in older ships, like Olsen, and I'm sure there are others.

With that rule, and the double hull rule for tankers, there'll be a lot of ships making a one way trip to India/Pakistan/Bangladesh over the next few years.

What I should have said, with regards to the QE2, is that to make her 2010 compliant means gutting her and starting over. Combine that with the need to replace a lot of her aluminum superstructure over the next few years, I am afraid that the cost to make her compliant will be more than anyone would be willing to spend.
 

Joe Russo

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Why would you need to replace the aluminum superstructure? I don't understand what makes that unsafe.
Also, what happens if they don't retrofit her to meet the 2010 regulations by 2010? Can she keep cruising and pay fines or is there a grace period?
 

Jerry Nuovo

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I have in front of me the Summer 2006 edition of Steamboat Bill which is the quarterly journal of the Steamship Historical Society of America.One of the articles in this edition was an interview with the Cunard President Carol Marlow.When she is asked about what the future holds for QE2,especially after Queen Victoria is launched.Are there any major refits planned for her? Is Cunard taking steps to ensure she'll be sailing past SOLAS 2010? Ms.Marlow responded by saying "QE2 is a very popular ship and there are currently no plans for her to be retired.We are continuing to invest in the ship with substantial refurbishment being carried out lasy year and this year in her April dry-docking.Over the years Cunard has spent fifteen times as much on refurbishing and refitting QE2 than she originally cost to build,so you can see we are aware of and committed to the need to keep this icon in the very best condition .We do not envisage that 2010 SOLAS will be a major hurdle for QE2." Ms.Marlow was then asked about the QE2's competition in the European marketplace such as Ventura which is a P&O new building in Europe coming along soon,2 Voyager-class ships,reports of Disney joining the fray,and ever more Costa megaships.Given her age how can she maintain a competitive edge,rather than a bargain basement option? Ms.Marlow replied "QE2 does not need to maintain a competitive edge in the true sense of the term because,being an icon of four decades standing,she is totally different from the others in her appeal.People tend to choose QE2 because she is the QE2.Having said that,we do continue to keep the ship in first-class condition,as the reply above demonstrates." I did just get this book titled "RMS Queen Elizabeth 2,The Last Great Liner" written by Janette McCutcheon published in 2006.At the end of the book Ms.McCutcheon wrote about the future of the QE2.She did state that the QE2 like other ships can not sail forever.She did further state that the good news is that Cunard expects the QE2 to be sailing until at least her 50th birthday.The fact is that the QE2 entered service in 1969 and her 50th birthday would be the year 2019.Whether or not QE2 will be sailing until 2019 I really don't know.But I still predict that she will remain in service until 2015 or 2016.
 
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Timothy Trower

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Given the research that Janette McCutcheon did for this book and the information that was given by Carol Marlow in "Steamboat Bill", I would agree that the QE2 will be around for years to come. I'm not sure I see fifty, but even the Germanic was around in one form or another for seventy-five!
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Why would you need to replace the aluminum superstructure?<<

Mixing aluminium with salt water, especially when it's built on a steel hull, tends to produce a lot of problems with corrosion if it's not properly done. That said, the QE2 doesn't appear to be having these problems so it looks like Cunard has learned some of the lessons that navies learned in dealing with it and preventing it.
 
Apr 27, 2005
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Without any reasoning other than that she is the "QE2", and she's "paired" with the "QM2", I have to believe we'll see this ship for another decade, anyway.
I haven't checked online, but does she make regular tran-Atlantic voyages (NYC to South Hampton) in the season, any longer? If so, does she sail with anything like a profitable capacity?
 

Jerry Nuovo

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The QE2 still does a few transatlantic crossings each year.In a few weeks on April 21,2007 she'll be doing a westbound transatlantic crossing from Southampton to New York.A friend of mine will be aboard her for that crossing.In September the QE2 will do a cruise which is a Southampton to North America cruise in which the QE2 will visit several ports in the U.S.A. and Canada and then cross the Atlantic again to Southampton to end the cruise.Next January 6th the QE2 will do a tandem transatlantic crossing with the new Queen Victoria sailing from Southampton to New York.And then on April 12,2008 the QE2 will do a eastbound transatlantic crossing from New York to Southampton and I'll be aboard her for the April 12,2008 crossing.
 

James Carey

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I am sad to see the Saga Rose heading to Alang. I always thought she and her sister Saga Ruby were 2 beautiful ships.
 

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